(Warning - the following contains fan theory-related speculation, and might warrant being taken with a pinch or two of salt accordingly...)
Now, when it comes to modern cinematic icons, there's really no beating Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight. Whether it's Ledger's instantly recognizable made-up face, the character's absurdly memorable lines, or simply that voice, there's really no forgetting The Joker.
That collective fascination, however - along with director Christopher Nolan's intentionally maintained air of mystery - has led to countless fan theories about just who The Joker is, why he does what he does and, most particularly, just how he got those scars.
The latest theory?
The Joker Got His Scars in...a Completely Different Movie?
Yup, that's right. According to intrepid Redditor davidluketaylor's theory, The Joker didn't really get his scars in The Dark Knight's movie universe at all. Or, rather, he did... but that universe was very much the same as another iconic movie from the past two decades.
That's right - according to the theory:
The Joker Got His Scars in THAT Fight Club
Y'see, as davidluketaylor observes, there's a moment in The Dark Knight where we get to see The Joker without his makeup. Specifically, this one:
That moment, so the theory goes, suggests something pretty fundamental - and mind-blowing - about The Joker's scar.
The Joker's Cut Doesn't Derive from a Cut, But from a Burn
Now, we may all have long suspected that The Joker acquired his facial scarring from a 'Glasgow Kiss,' or some sort of similarly blade-related injury, but there is, it seems, another possibility.
Remember this moment in Fight Club?
Y'know, the one where Tyler Durden pours lye on 'The Narrator's' hand to cause horrible scarring?
Well, the thing is - this is what that exact kind of scarring ends up looking like:
And boy howdy, does that look a whole lot like The Joker's facial scarring...
Is it possible, then, that:
The Joker Was Once a Member of THAT Fight Club?
It'd require a little cinematic universe jiggery pokery, but there's actually a whole lot hiding underneath the surface of both movies that makes Fight Club a pretty plausible origin point for The Joker. After all, his having become horribly scarred in a blisteringly violent fight club that advocated anarchy and nihilism (alongside the violent overthrow of the world order) seems...about right.
The most intriguing thing about all of that, though?
That Could Explain Where Jared Leto's Joker Comes in
While Leto's Joker may lack Ledger's iconic scarred grin, he still retains a pretty substantial link to Fight Club. Specifically?
He was in it.
Is it possible, then, as davidluketaylor suggests, that Leto's character in Fight Club - Angel Face - is in fact the second Joker to appear...and a direct successor to Ledger's?
After all, we watched him get beaten to within an inch of his life in the movie...
...but didn't see any notable chemical scarring.
Could he, then, have simply decided to follow in the footsteps of Ledger's pioneering Clown Prince of Crime, and become a new, less scarred Joker?
It's certainly a tempting theory (even if there are a handful of fairly substantial holes in it), but the big question, as far as I'm concerned?
What do you think?